We have prepared a guide for passengers who have experienced a delayed flight. The guide is a simple checklist of what to do if my flight is delayed.

We recommend you follow our 10 point plan.

1. Avoid Busy Travel Times

Avoid busy periods if possible and endeavour to fly early in the day to avoid the knock on effect from other delayed flights.

2. Know your Rights

Know your rights – forearmed is forewarned see more information below.

3. Connecting Flights what to do

What will happen to your connecting flight? Remember to always book connecting flights with the same airline under a single booking reference.  They will then do all they can to assist.  If you have booked separate flights then you will probably have to write off the cost of the connecting flight.

4. Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance will often provide you with compensation but usually after at least a 12 hour delay.  Shop around and make sure your Policy will pay compensation, most policies pay following a Strike, Adverse Weather or Mechanical Breakdown.  Travel insurance will also pay for additional transport costs and other expenses should your flight be delayed.

5. Ask for a Lounge Pass

Ask for a lounge Pass or consider buying access. Ask nicely as it will be relatively busy and the Airline does not have to offer access. You will see the lounges marked and ask at the desk.

Other ways to gaining access to a lounge:

Your credit card may allow access to some lounges – American Express Platinum allows access to 600 lounges.

Lounges allow one guest per business class and first class traveller so ask someone going towards the lounge not something for me but worth a try for the bolder amongst us.

Buy an annual pass to the lounge if you are a frequent traveller or buy access to the lounge on the airlines website for your trip.

Download Loungebuddy app this is free and will guide as to what is available in the Airport.

Remember at busy times the lounge may be crowded so act fast.

6. Relax and have a good meal

Get a meal whilst you wait and try to relax. This will be much better meal than anything the Airline can provide.

7. Get a Room

If your replacement flight is not ready until the next day call the Airlines Help Desk for details of free accommodation. If the Airline cannot help book accommodation through one of the hotel websites. Such as Hotel.com.  Again act fast as one late flight will use up 100 rooms. Keep all receipts as you can claim back hotel expenses at a later date.

8. Use your mobile

Remember to use your mobile to get through to the Airlines booking team or to find an hotel. Whilst waiting in a queue use your phone to talk to the helpdesk of the airline. This way you have twice the chance of getting what you need.  It is the smart way to use your time.

9. Social Media

Use social media to ask for help. Airlines have a team of people who watch their social media home pages so you are guaranteed attention. You can also obtain useful advice from other passengers

10. Check if the flight qualifies for compensation

Your first move is to ascertain if your flight qualifies as an EU flight . This is the big one and can pay you up to Eur 600 per passenger so it is well worth checking

Does the flight qualify as an EU Flight?

Did the flight…

(1) Commence from an EU Airport
(2) Start from outside the EU – only flights on EU registered carriers fall under EU regulations. For example, an Emirates flight into Heathrow would not qualify but a KLM of Lufthansa would qualify.  Most national carriers are registered in the country of origin. For example, Air France is registered in France.

Delayed by 2 hours or more

Entitlements:

(1) Food and Drink whilst you wait for the delayed flight.
(2) Phone call or e-mail.
(3) Hotel accommodation if the flight is delayed overnight.
(4) Taxi to and from hotel accommodation.

It is important to note that compensation is not payable until the delay is over three hours.  If the Airline does not offer the above retain receipts and you will be able to claim refunds later.

my flight is delayed - a guide compensation

Delayed by 3 hours or more

You are entitled to the benefits as stated above under  “Delayed 2 Hour delay or more” compensation. Remember you must take the flight to be entitled to compensation.

Delay at arrivalFlight DistanceCompensation per passenger
3 hours plusLess than 1,500 kms€250
Between 1,500 to 3,500 kms€400
3 to 4 hoursMore than 3,500 kms
(between EU and non-EU airport)
€300
4 hours plusMore than 3,500 kms
(between EU and non-EU airport)
€600

Delayed by 5 hours or more

You are entitled to the following compensation and you don’t need to take the flight:

(1) A full refund of the ticket price.
(2) A full refund of other flights on the same booking being onward or return flights.
(3) If you are part the way then a return flight to the start airport.
(4) Food and drink.
(5) Telephone call or email.
(6) Hotel accomodation overnight and taxi to and from the hotel.

If you do take the flight you will be able to seek compensation of up to €600  provided the delay was within the control of the airline.

It is important to gather evidence as to why the flight was delayed as airlines often endeavour to escape liability by invoking extraordinary circumstances.  Generally speaking, such extraordinary circumstance must be:

  • Not inherent in the normal activity of the Airline and
  • Outside the control of the Airline.

Retain all flight documents particularly the confirmation of flight often sent as an e-mail and alternatively the Boarding Card.  These documents prove the passengers were on the flight in question.  One key element is the PNR (Passenger Number Record) known as the booking reference.  This is the unique reference number to identify the flight and passenger names. This will help identify your flight and speed up the claim. Some Airlines refuse to handle claims where the booking reference is not provided.

Please note that some airlines insist on a note of the e-ticket number. This helps them identify the flight but is in our view another obstacle for passengers to overcome.

Flight Data = Flight Number and date of travel.  This is key to identifying your flight.

my flight is delayed - a guide compensation

Reason for the delay. Take a picture of the departure board this will show if more than one flight is delayed.  Ask at the desk why the flight was delayed. Here you are aiming to establish if the cause of the delay was within the control of the Airline.  For example, the incoming flight may be delayed due to adverse weather – here you are looking to establish if the airline promptly dealt with the potential problem.

Check the weather – were other flights also delayed?

What to do in order to gain access to the Airline and secure alternative flights accommodation. 

My key suggestion is to join the queue and use the queuing time to call the Airlines call centre for assistance if you are having trouble getting through go to the Airlines Facebook or Twitter page and ask for help always remain polite.  Remember when things go wrong there is never enough staff to deal with all passengers and accommodation at airports is limited so use your telephone to get ahead of the queue.

Start your claim for compensation.  Don’t waste your time hanging around use this time to log onto our home page at Flightdelaypay.com and commence your claim.

Why Choose Flight Delay Pay?

You will join thousands of successful claimants who have been helped by Flight Delay Pay.

  • Click on our Claim Calculator to commence the claim process -it only takes less than 3 minutes
  • We formulate your claim and cite case law so that you have the best chance of winning your claim. We will contact the Airline on your behalf and keep you advised on the progress of your claim
  • The Airlines will receive a letter from our solicitor meaning that they take us seriously.
  • We operate on a No Win No Fee basis.
  • We do not charge VAT
  • It is a simple process.

Go to our Start your claim page it is a simple process.

Useful links:

Flight Delay Pay is a team of travel and legal professionals with vast knowledge and many years of experience working with European Passenger Rights. We work with airlines and passengers all over the world and take on claims up to 6 years back. If you think your claim fits within the eu261 regulations then claim with us now! Let us take the strain and handle your claim. No win, no fee!

Click Here To Claim Flight Delay Compensation